For years, VendingMarketWatch has observed vending technology is being used to bring consumer products to market more efficiently -- Redbox has led the charge. Redbox and a few others such as Zoom Shops have been implementing cashless transaction capability much faster than the traditional vending industry.It's also been noted the growth of these innovations will make consumers more accepting of cashless transactions for small ticket items, which will support cashless vending purchases.
That change is happening faster than many realize. Redbox has become known as The Red Menace in the movie entertainment industry. Three major motion picture studios have tried to block Redbox access to new DVDs. This past year, the number of Redbox machines jumped from about 12,000 to nearly 21,000, and is still growing.Yesterday's Wall Street Journal featured an interview with Redbox President Mitch Lowe about the company's explosive growth. Today, Dec. 1, Blockbuster announced plans to fight back with its own DVD machines in New York City.
What does this have to do with us? Redbox has used our industry's technology to bring a higher level of value to consumers. Redbox machines don't take cash. Consumers must use a card to rent a DVD. The machines are serviced by a dedicated service organization utilizing remote machine monitoring. The traditional vending industry deals with different products and has different service issues than Redbox. And being a much older industry, it has significant legacy costs to contend with.But Redbox has learned how consumers want to shop for certain needs, and it has made it easy and economical for them. Using technology they borrowed from traditional vending.Are we listening?